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Millard Oakley Farm Being Utilized By Multiple Tech Departments

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Millard Oakley Farm Being Utilized By Multiple Tech Departments

The 1,000-acre Millard Oakley Farm in Livingston is serving multiple departments across the Tennessee Tech campus.

Dean of College Of Agriculture and Human Ecology Darron Smith said the land started out as mainly an agricultural education facility. He said it has grown to provide so much more to the university.

“We open it up to not just our college,” Smith said. “ROTC has gone up there and done maneuvers up in the hills, and wildlife and fisheries and the biology department is doing stream-minnow-type stuff and looking at dove migrations.”

Smith said the Physics Department is in the process of building a telescope on the property because of the lack of light pollution. The farm was donated to the university by Oakley in 2017.

Smith said its primary use is still agriculture education, and it has been an invaluable resource in that department.

“It’s such a unique property with enough economy of size to actually educate the kids where they are seeing a real-life cattle ranch being run or a real-life greenhouse operation being run,” Smith said.

The property has one-acre of greenhouses used in research projects and a beef-cattle farm that was once considered the second largest in the state.

“It’s a gift that spans not only our college but other colleges on this campus,” Smith said. “It really is with the intent of integrating students and helping to educate them and train them to help solve the world’s problems that we see everyday.”

The property is recognized by the Tennessee Historical Society as a pioneer century farm. Oakley’s family inherited the property after it was given to one of Oakley’s ancestors in 1792 for his service in the Revolutionary War.

In 2017, the farmland was estimated to be worth $9 million. Oakley passed away in 2022.


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